• This is clearly the feel good story of the day:
(Reuters) – Harvard Law School was ranked No. 4 in law school rankings published Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report, marking just the second time in more than three decades that the elite school was not among the top three on the annual list. . .
A Harvard Law spokesman declined to comment on the rankings.
No doubt slipping the U.S. News rankings (which are stupid, but some other time) is causing consternation and many many meetings at HLS this week. Heh.
The bad news is that Yale Law School remains Number One in the rankings, though it clearly ought to be downgraded in light of recent events.
Meanwhile, The Free Beacon’s intrepid Aaron Sibarium continues to cover the rapidly decaying intellectual scene in law schools with news of the latest ideological “anti-racist” predations at Georgetown Law. Turns out that Georgetown will no longer teach the foundations and history of property law in its basic property class, but will go full oppression mode instead:
At most law schools, the first few weeks of property law are spent on foundational cases of British common law. At Georgetown University, they are spent on structural racism and cultural appropriation.
Students in professor Madhavi Sunder’s mandatory first-year course learn on day one that the history of American property law is “the history of dispossession and appropriation,” according to videos of the course reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. Lecture slides from the first month of coursework trace the “birth” of modern property law not to English courts, but to “Native dispossession and the enslavement of African Americans.” “Possession,” one slide asserts, “is a legal term of art for a settler capitalist society.”
I can see it now: before long, every basic transaction to buy a house will have to include a “land acknowledgement” that the land underneath was stolen from someone else.
• MIT has announced that it will restore requiring the SAT and ACT for admissions. MIT had suspended the test requirement during COVID. Most universities have been rushing to abandon traditional admissions tests in order to get ahead of a likely adverse ruling in the Harvard-UNC case coming up next term, in order to continue discriminating against Asians and in favor preferred underrepresented groups. COVID gave them the perfect excuse to accelerate the process.
“Our research shows standardized tests help us better assess the academic preparedness of all applicants,” he said. The decision will affect first-year students or transfer students who want to enroll at M.I.T. in 2023.
In a Q. and A. posted by the M.I.T. News Office, Mr. Schmill said the office’s research had shown that the university “cannot reliably predict students will do well at MIT unless we consider standardized test results alongside grades, coursework, and other factors.”
The move bucks the trend seen at other elite colleges and universities, which have waived standardized testing requirements amid criticism that wealthier students can afford prep coaching and have an advantage.
M.I.T. “is definitely an outlier,” said Bob Schaeffer, executive director at the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. He called M.I.T.’s reinstatement of standardized test scores “an unfortunate decision.” . . .
The choice to reinstate the requirement is “a very M.I.T. specific decision,” Mr. Schmill said. “I’m not saying that this is the right decision for any or every other school. But for us, we think this is the right decision.”
I have a hunch that MIT’s decision was driven by competitive pressure, namely, that its arch-rival for science supremacy in academia—CalTech—might start to leave MIT conspicuously behind if MIT continued down the road to politically correct admissions practices. CalTech has never embraced affirmative action admission dogma, and hence has a larger Asian student body than peer universities. (I’ve also heard rumors that a few MIT trustees are restive about creeping wokery in MIT’s prestige science departments, which would be rare if so, as college trustees are selected precisely for their spinelessness as much as college presidents are.)
A reminder of just how much an outlier CalTech is:
Chaser from the New York Times story:
Andrew Palumbo, the vice president for enrollment management at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, said on Monday that while he didn’t “begrudge any individual institution for making any decision that’s right for them,” he viewed standardized testing as having “classist, racist, sexist overtones.”